Hospitals across Europe scramble to replace millions of IV kits amid fear of infections


Hospitals across Europe, including Britain, as well as the Middle East and Africa are scrambling to replace millions of pieces of equipment used to treat patients, amid fears they could cause infections after a company falsified sterilisation records for more than a decade.

The Independent has learned the problem affects more than 230 different types of infusion lines, connectors and associated kit along with six infusion pumps used to deliver medicine and fluids into patients’ veins.

Medical devices company Becton Dickinson, or BD, has issued a recall of six of its Alaris infusion pumps as well as related tubing and kit after an investigation found a company it uses was intentionally falsifying sterilisation records, meaning BD could not be certain the tubing and pumps were free from contamination.

Hospitals across the UK have been given until the end of this month to stop using the pumps and quarantine any of the affected equipment. Any NHS trusts struggling with a lack of supply have been told to seek ‘mutual aid’ from neighbouring trusts.

Public Health England told The Independent it had not identified any large scale infections linked to the IV lines but said it could not rule out smaller isolated infections.


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